Church Attire

I want to start off by saying I hope you all had wonderful holidays!  It’s a great time of year that we get excited for and can’t wait for it to get here, but when it’s over we are oh so thankful!  The daily routines get back to normal and on weekends the only thing I may have to do is go to church!  Exciting, right?!

We went to Christmas Eve mass this year and as always it was beautiful.   Well, most of it was beautiful.  If I don’t count the underwear that was screaming at me from the kid in the pew in front of me, it was beautiful.  Seriously!  I kid you not!

We got to church pretty early (because it had been snowing like a banshee and the roads weren’t very good) so we were able to sit anywhere we wanted.  People started to trickle in and a family sat in the two pews in front of us.  Yes, they took up two pews, but it was grandma, grandpa, moms, dads and the grandkids which ranged in age from 5-15.  I had two 15-year-old boys sitting in front of me.

As they entered the pew and knelt down I about busted a gut!  The kid’s pants are hanging down around his bum and his shirt wasn’t long enough so there stares at me his navy blue undies!  And not just staring at me, but my 6-year-old nephew and my 9-year-old daughter!  It was all I could do not to die laughing!  I looked over at my sister with a huge OMG and she about lost it to!  THEN, they all sat back and it got worse!  Now, the navy blue undies were closer to us and his pants were lower than they were before!  (Our pews don’t have solid backs.  They are like the one in the picture with the opening by the seat.  Not nearly as fancy though!)  That’s when I went from, “Ha ha ha, this kid’s pants look ridiculous” to “OMG, who comes to church, let alone Christmas mass, with their pants around their ankles?!”  I was embarrassed for my daughter at that point because I don’t think she could see it when he was kneeling, but now that he was sitting back in the pew it was right in her face.

It took every ounce of my being to NOT tap him on the shoulder and tell him to pull up his pants.  Believe me, I was thinking of all kinds of things I could say to him, but I kept my mouth shut.  The funny thing was, everybody else in the family was casually dressed up.  Slacks with sweaters, the little boys were in shirts and ties, the little girl had a dress on and then you had the two older boys in jeans and T-shirts.  Now, before everyone throws a fit, I don’t care what one wears to church.  I don’t.  I was wearing nice jeans with my cute furry boots and a LONG gray sweater.   The kids were in jeans.  My mom and sister were in jeans.  It’s not the jeans I have a problem with.  It’s the underwear hanging out the pants I have a problem with!

I know it’s the style.  I know they are only teenagers and parents have to pick their battles.  Like I said above, I don’t care what someone wears to church, but there is a line I think.  I don’t know when “Sunday best” went by the wayside.  I didn’t have to dress up when I was a kid, but my mother would have had my hide if I’d gone to church like that!

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8 Responses to Church Attire

  1. Joy says:

    Oh no, poor Trin. I can just see the look on her face. I’m not sure what the answer is to this question. I want to say respect but I’m not sure if it’s that or if that just makes me sound like an old lady. Times change right?

    But I’m just not sure that times changing is always a good thing. I guess if you look at styles, we could still be wearing corsets and shoes you need a hook to lace up but times have really changed with clothing styles.

    If I went to church now I’d wear a nice pair of jeans and a nice sweater but when I was a kid, we had church clothes and we didn’t wear them anywhere but to church or a wedding or funeral. Now when my boys were young, we still dressed up for church so it’s changed in the last what????? 15 years? I’m not sure since I haven’t been to church for a lot of years except for special occasions.

    I am not a fan nor have I ever been, of underwear hanging out of clothes. Man or woman, please, I don’t need or want to see them. To think someone like that would go to church and make someone look at their undies all during the service. To top it off, it was the Christmas service! I’d be the first one to say you have to pick your battles and I never really had a clothes battle with either of my boys but in this situation, I’d have made them change. Heck, if this was a style they favored, I’d have stepped in I think. I just don’t like this underwear look.

  2. Laura says:

    I do think it’s a matter of respect… There are some places that, when you go there, you dress tidily. Not “dressy” or “formal”, but tidy. That means jeans with no holes, shirts with no logos/silkscreening/ads/whatever. Underwear where it belongs. Hair combed and neat. Shoes that aren’t full of holes or meant for the beach.

    It’s no hardship to do this, nor will it destroy your “street cred” if you show respect in a house of worship, or a place of business, or school, or whatever.

    I guess I’m old fashioned that way. I don’t let Josh wear jeans with holes in the knees to school. That means that he has three pairs of jeans, and he ONLY wears them to school. When he gets home, they come off, and on go the holey jeans, or the sweats. He wears polo (collared/short sleeved) shirts in summer/warm weather seasons, and long-sleeved (without logo) shirts. And they’re also changed when he comes home. On Mass Days, he isn’t even allowed to wear jeans, he wears khaki’s – he can bring them and change into them after Mass.

    And when we take him to mass on weekends, he wears khakis and a shirt or sweater.

    This may change as he gets older… as fashions change… as battles get more important. When it becomes time to choose between the “sex talk” and arguing with him over jeans or khakis…. well, of course, I’ll let the clothes go. But I’m hoping that, by then, the clothing thing will just be a habit, and he will “wear church clothes to church”.

  3. SKL says:

    I wasn’t there, so I don’t know how bad it was. But when I was a kid, boys always had their underwear sticking out their pants, because the pants (worn with belts) would stick out in the middle of the back. And the boys wore white underwear, so it didn’t blend in. We were just supposed to pretend we didn’t notice. It wasn’t obscene or anything, just embarrassing. By the time it struck me that mine might possibly stick out too, I became obsessed with checking and adjusting my clothes, because I’d have died if I knew someone behind me could see my undies.

    We used to have a teasing rhyme when we were kids: “I see Germany, I see France, I see somebody’s underpants.” Also, “what are you looking at under there?” “Under wear!” So ya know, it wasn’t like anyone wanted to see or show their underwear. But it did happen a lot, unintentionally.

    But the “style” where the pants are deliberately designed to show off the undies is just not acceptable church attire. In my opinion, the whole point of that style is disrespect. So it has no place in a church.

    Now if I was those boys’ parents, first of all, I would never have spent my money to buy pants like that (the falling down style). If they had figured out some other way to get them, I wouldn’t have let them wear them in public, let alone to church, without ensuring they were also wearing a long shirt over them. I may be old-fashioned. But if a parent won’t tell a kid when he’s being uncouth, who will? Personally I don’t think it’s right to just let a young teen fend for himself when it comes to appropriateness.

  4. Tessa says:

    Great post, Sue, and I hope everyone had a great Christmas too! I wanted to go to the Catholic church in NE Mpls I grew up going to because it is a beautiful mass, but the snow held us back and plan’s with Eric’s mom’s side. We did go to a nice Lutheran one Christmas morning. I agree! I think it is about respect. We always had to dress nice for church. I still do, and that is the style for some boys, but I sure will raise my little guy and kids to dress nice for church and other occasions. Special times call for special dress I think. And I pray my son never shows his undies! I think his dad wouldn’t allow it either-when they’re not around you nothing you can do, but as long as he is with us it’ll be respectful outfits! lol That must have been funny though, and distracting!!

  5. Just a Mom says:

    This is a MAJOR pet peeve with me! Our poor priest has had to have many talks about how people come dressed for church.
    I think it all falls back on the parents. My girls have to “dress” for church. I do not allow jeans, they can wear slacks, a skirt with a nice shirt, or a dress. Oh and I don’t allow the shirt or dress to show off anything, the shoulders and the “girls” must be covered. I guess I am just old fashioned but then again that’s how my parent raised me!

  6. Nikki says:

    Although their parents were probably just happy they showed up they should have been a little more specific on how NOT to dress!
    I don’t go to church but if I did I wouldn’t want to be looking at anyones underwear! Actually I don’t want to look at anyones underwear anywhere I go! It’s tasteless, but I know that’s the style that some boys have. Girls even, I’ve seen young girls with their thongs hanging out. It’s just gross, no matter the place in my opinion.

  7. javajunkee says:

    LOL!!! I can’t say much since my kid dresses in his goth stuff when we do go to church..the thing is his pants are UP!

  8. just me says:

    One of the problems with dressing up for church (or any other event) is that teens tend to want to be real rather then reverent. At least, this has been my observation. I am a pastor of a small church and for 20 years was a youth pastor and even pursued my Doctor of Ministry in Youth, Family, and Culture. Add to that my two teenage children, a 19 year old boy who won’t even take his beenie off in church, and my 17 year old daughter love high heels and short skirts. It drives me nuts but I am happy to see them there. I also have them sit were they will not be a distraction to other worshipers.

    The same would hold true to the lady with the giant Easter hat or low plunging neck line that the priest has to stare at when she is at the kneeling rail.

    It makes me laugh and I know that this is one Christmas Eve service you won’t forget soon. Kind of like the year, during the candle lighting that someone got hot wax spilled on them and yelled “shit! that’s hot” while the place was getting ready to sing Silent Night.

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